It is a sure thing for those who believe in Christ (Ephesians 1:13-14) and repent (2 Corinthians 7:10) and love and obey (1 John 3:10). That certainty is stated in the form of a promise (Mark 16:16) which is conditional – because those who do not believe will obviously not repent nor love nor obey.
Clearly, those who have believed and obeyed must have heard or otherwise encountered the truth they have accepted (Acts 4:4; Romans 10:14). But there is no scripture I’ve found which excludes from salvation those who haven’t heard and therefore could not believe. They can have no hope of it, since they have not heard of the promise to believers. But believers and those who don’t believe will be judged in the same way – by what they do (2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Peter 1:17).
Salvation is something Christ has finished (John 19:30), but it is also something He has not yet returned to bring to those who are awaiting him (Hebrews 9:28).
So, while it begins in the here and now (2 Corinthians 6:2), it is also not something fully delivered until hereafter (Hebrews 9:28). In the meantime, we who believe are shielded through faith until that salvation is revealed (1 Peter 1:5) – and yet, in another sense, we are receiving it (1 Peter 1:9). So we work out that salvation, with God working it in us (Philippians 2:12-13). In fact, we who believe are to wear it and the hope of it like a helmet (Ephesians 6:17 ; 1 Thessalonians 5:8). The day of its delivery grows ever closer (Romans 13:11).
Salvation continues to be offered to all people (Titus 2:11). That doesn’t say it will be given to all people; but it is offered. God would like for all to be saved … but in scripture, salvation seems to be conditioned upon repentance (2 Peter 3:9; Acts 11:18). We demonstrate our penitence by what we obediently do (Acts 26:20), so that all are ultimately judged according to what we do by the Lord (Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 20:11-15). It’s the same basis on which we who believe are judged by those around us, whether they believe or not – and if they have seen good works, will glorify God. (Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 2:12).
Sadly, there is only one prospect for those who hear truth yet reject and disobey Christ: there will be wrath and anger (Romans 2:8); they will not see life (John 3:36); the words of the One whom they have rejected will condemn them (John 12:48). Their destruction (Galatians 6:8 ; Philippians 3:19 ; 2 Thessalonians 1:9 ; 2 Peter 3:7) is in a lake of fire, the second death (Revelation 20:11-15), in which only the devil and his angels are tormented forever (Revelation 20:7-10). Disobedient, impenitent mortals will be consumed by its fire (Hebrews 10:27). “Destruction” is a word which is oppositional to “preservation.” “Death” is oppositional to “life.” Those who have eternal life are preserved; they live forever. Nothing I’ve found in scripture speaks of eternal life being given to the disobedient, to be endured in never-ending torment.
However, scriptures which speak of eternal life for those who inherit it are abundant: Matthew 19:16-30 , Mark 10:17-30, Luke 18:18-30; John 3:15-36, John 4:14, 4:36, 5:24, 5:39, 6:27, 6:40, 6:47, 6:54, 6:68, 10:28, 12:25, 12:50, 17:2-4; Acts 13:46-48; Romans 2:7, 5:21, 6:22-23; Galatians 6:8; 1 Timothy 1:16, 6:12; Titus 1:2, 3:7; 1 John 1:2, 2:25, 3:15, 5:11-20; Jude 1:21 .
The promise of that, offered through Christ, is something worth sharing!
Those are my conclusions. You need to reach yours.
Read about it. Pray about it. Live toward it.
I’ll see you there!
9 thoughts on “Salvation: The Short Course”
much better answer to the blather that is out there on the blogosphere, right now. thanks keith. 🙂
Scripture does make a lot of sense! And if some of it seems obtuse, I’ve probably strayed from scripture.
“I’ll see you there!”
If Jesus gives us a passing grade.
Keith, you know what gives me hope, The widow and her penny, she didn’t give as much, but it was what she could do.
True, Laymond, yet: “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48)
Jesus wants to keep us on our toes – never quite satisfied, I think. Always hungry for a little more righteousness!
Good stuff, Keith. I think our “traditional” views of heaven and hell come more from mythology and tradition than Biblical proof. To me, the thought of being totally burned up or annihilated is even worse than eternal torture. Fortunately, we don’t have to live in fear of that! I know the feeling of never being satisfied. I find myself being humbled every time I study. So much more I could be doing…
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what you present here ! is a summary about what God expect from us living in the light of Christ! Explain the way the faith comes to us ( Hearing Romans 10:14), what we hear? The Gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16, Eph. 3:4), that is the beginning for some people who are looking for God (Jn. 7:17, Acts 17:27) and is the begining to believe in him (Heb. 11:1,6,Jn. 8:24, Mark 16:16, Acts 16:31) After putting our trust in him, we understand as has been said by the profets , the Lord and the apostles message of repentence is needed, understanding the sorrow according to God ( as peter ) and not according to the world (as Judas), is very important to understand what repentance is, (Luke 13:3,5; Acts 2:38,Acts 17:30; Acts 3:19) and confess Jesus Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10,Acts 8:37; Mt. 10:32-33;Luke 12:8), to accoplish the commandment of our Lord Jesus is necessary to obey the Gospel the same way as the first century christians were immersed (Mark 16:16,Mt. 28:18-20,Acts 8:37, Mt. 10:32-33, Luke 12:8; and remain faithful growing in the faith and knowledge of our Lord (2 Peter 3:18, Rev. 2:10; Mt. 10:22; 1 Cor.15:58; Gal. 6:9, Fil. 2:12-13,Eph. 6:17). Our God did his part and Now, the man need to do his part to restore a relationship with his creator.